I saw a lot of e-mails in my inbox from my various mailing lists yesterday with “thank you” in the subject in some form or another, and while it feels a little cliche, I did want to take a moment to say thanks to everyone who has followed the blog, made any predictions, or both. We really appreciate your support as we try to prove out our theory.
When it came to the games, the crowd performed pretty well. In both the early game and the later game, the crowd was dialed in, predicting relatively tight victories for both the Vikings and Redskins while still covering the spread. The crowd missed on the winner and the spread of the Chargers-Cowboys game, predicting a narrow Dallas victory in what turned out to be a rout by San Diego. So far this season, the crowd has lingered a game or two too long on some teams, and the crowd has expected either close losses or outright victories from the Cowboys since RB Ezekiel Elliott was suspended and LB Sean Lee was injured. The Cowboys have lost every game without either. It will be interesting to see if the crowd continues backing the Cowboys in Week 13.
Game 1 (Vikings-Lions) CPR – 2 for 3
Correct: Straight-up, Against the Spread; Incorrect: Over/Under
This game looked like it would be a blowout early in the third quarter. When the Vikings went ahead 27-10, the 3-point Vikings cover predicted by the crowd seemed all but in the bag, but the under prediction was hanging by a thread. As the Lions clawed their way back into the game, the under slipped away entirely.
The data showed an interesting trend. As game time drew near, the totals submitted trended towards the over while most early predictions were lower scoring. A few more predictions and the crowd may well have ended up on the right side of the total and hit the trifecta. (On a side note, it seems like betting the over would be the most comforting wager on the board because it’s the only one that can be cashed before the game goes final.)
Game 2 (Chargers-Cowboys) CPR – 1 for 3
Correct: Over/Under; Incorrect: Straight-up, Against the Spread
The Chargers-Cowboys game was a sort of mirror image to the Vikings-Lions as the last few predictions submitted all had Dallas winning by as little as 4 and as much as 10. As a result, the crowd prediction swung from favoring San Diego to favoring Dallas.
Additionally, the initial spread in this game started out favoring the Cowboys by as much as 4.5 points. It dropped all the way down to favoring the Chargers by 1 indicating that the betting public and our crowd saw a lot of value in the early lines.
Game 3 (Giants-Washington) CPR – 3 for 3
Correct: Straight-up, Against the Spread, Over/Under;
The crowd hit a nice trifecta in the late game. Not only did the crowd get all 3 predictions correct, they also predicted a 9.3-point win for Washington and the final spread was 10. You could say that there was a fair bit of luck involved in the cover; the Giants turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory with around 3 minutes remaining, and because Washington couldn’t convert a first down, they kicked a field goal to make the score 20-10. On the other hand, the Giants only touchdown was on an interception return by CB Janoris Jenkins that, while the pass was poorly thrown, was only made possible by a tip by WR Brandon Marshall. So the luck sort of evened out.
As for the data, there was only one prediction that had the Giants winning, and all of the other predictions favored Washington by at least 7. The crowd was really feeling an easy Washington victory and yea, verily it came to pass.
I’ve been (sort of) tracking the canary in the coal mine of the Thursday games, and I’ve been noticing a loose correlation. So with a 6-for-9 performance on Thursday, including 2 fairly astute predictions, I am hopeful that the crowd will be able to clear the 50% threshold across all 3 prediction pillars.